7 Tips To Ensure Sustainable Mining Operations

While the mining sector is said to contribute significantly to the global economy, nevertheless, it can cause serious irreversible damage to the environment. Its use of natural resources like water, carbon, land, and energy may cause severe harm to the planet’s soil, leaving it very vulnerable to processes like soil erosion. Additionally, reckless mining may lead to pollution, depletion of natural resources, and many more.

Fortunately, players in the mining industry are believed to be starting to take action to offset the negative impacts of years of irresponsible mining and extraction of minerals. Some companies are now opting to use energy efficient fabric structures for mining operations as a step forward. These structures help minimize the negative impact that mining has on the environment.

ways to make mining more sustainable

Are you a mining site manager or owner, a shareholder in the mining industry, and the like looking for ways to turn your current business model into a safer and much more environment-friendly alternative? Here’s a look at more ways to make mining more sustainable:

1. Use Eco-Friendly Equipment

It’s believed that more and more companies are now moving towards battery-driven mining equipment. Battery-driven options are said to be more environmentally friendly compared to diesel-driven options. This shift in options can significantly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that mining operations usually produce.

There’s also a need to adopt more advanced and durable equipment to avoid high machinery turnover rates. Damaged equipment also poses a risk to the planet. For example, equipment breakdowns may cause rubber or plastic sheds and others. Mining companies can reduce equipment costs and how much rubber and plastic their operations emit into the environment. This can be done by the exclusive use of electrical mining equipment.

2. Ensure Proper Waste Disposal

There are guidelines to how mining byproducts are disposed of per laws and regulations, which some mining companies unfortunately ignore. This doesn’t help the situation as far as eco-friendly initiatives are concerned. Companies should shy away from improper industrial waste disposal by abiding by enforced rules.

3. Adopt Lower-Impact Mining Techniques

Commonly used mining methods like open pit and underground mining come with very serious risks to nature. Mining operators are advised to move towards low-impact mining techniques like in-situ leaching.

Using low-impact mining techniques will reduce soil erosion as well as move less material needing backfilled. This is a win-win for the mineworkers and the environment because they get to work efficiently using greener mining means.

4. Shut Down Illegal Mining

Illegal miners don’t abide by regulations that reduce environmental impact. It’s regarded that the illegal mining industry has a sizeable hold of the overall economy although it brazenly brushes off safety rules. Additionally, illegal mining is often conducted on land coverages not suited for large-scale mining and adversely affect the surrounding communities.

Take that and illegal miners’ disregard for safety and environmental mining regulations and you have a complete disaster. Preventing illegal mining activities will go a long way in ensuring all mining activities abide by the same regulations and environmental standards to encourage accountability.

5. Conduct Consultations With Different Mining Industry Stakeholders

It’s generally advised that mining managers prepare and set up periodic consultations with different stakeholders that have a relation with their mines. Participants may include local community leaders, environment experts, and non-profit organizations specializing in sustainable mining operations. These consultations can focus on ensuring that mining operations are up to standard and safe. Other sustainability-related concerns can be hashed out during these meetings.

Many groups regard that the method mentioned above is also a means to deal with similar woes in the mining industry like unlawful businesses still carrying out their operations.

6. Improve Manufacturing Process Efficiency

You can make it your goal to consistently and closely monitor the standard mining supply chain. This can help you identify the areas in which you need improvement where promoting eco-friendly manufacturing processes is concerned. It’s important to be flexible in the way you think as well as the management or supervisory tools you use.

mining industry hazards

You should adopt management tools that promote or cushion the company’s transition into less environmentally-harmful processes of resource use in today’s modern society. Bear in mind that the business world is forever evolving. Thus, the processes, as well as technology used for business, also continue to change and gear towards efficiency and eco-friendliness.

7. Replenish The Environment

Replanting trees, natural forestry, site inspections, and replenishing native soils and grasses can work to increase the environmental sustainability of mining activities. Rather than continuously taking from the environment, giving back to it can help restore it and make it a safer place for everyone to enjoy.

Conclusion

Mining operations often have negative impacts on the well-being of the miners along with the environment. However, this doesn’t have to continue to be the case. Use this insightful guide to help you carry out your mining activities sustainably and lawfully.

About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the CEO of BioEnergy Consult, and an international consultant, advisor and trainer with expertise in waste management, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, environment protection and resource conservation. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biogas technology, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. Salman has participated in numerous national and international conferences all over the world. He is a prolific environmental journalist, and has authored more than 300 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. In addition, he is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability through his blogs and portals. Salman can be reached at salman@bioenergyconsult.com or salman@cleantechloops.com.
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